AI capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance, Supply Chain and Commerce

ERP’s have evolved over time and the people who are in this domain have witnessed how the usage of ERP system has changed – from being just an in-house system to manage operational activities to being modern and intelligent systems which can talk to external systems, provide access to external parties via portals with rich analytics baked into the product to provide actionable insights to improve operational efficiencies and decision making.

Last few years have taken a big leap in adding Data Analytics, Machine learning and Artificial intelligence capabilities in order to make the systems more smart .

In this post I’ll highlight AI/ML based capabilities available out of the box in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance , Supply chain and commerce applications. There are links to explore more about these features:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance:

Finance insights combines functionality from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance with Dataverse, Azure, and AI Builder to provide powerful forecasting tools . Announcement of these capabilities were made in Feb 2020 and these features are now generally available.

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/bdm/2020/02/26/improve-efficiency-and-quality-with-ai-infused-finance-processes/

  • Budget Proposal : By using Finance Insights, intelligent budget proposals can quickly consolidate and analyze years of historical data to predict your budget forecast. By letting the system perform these budgeting tasks for you, you’ll save time and be able to focus on meaningful discussions about how the budget will support your business. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/finance/finance-insights/budget-proposals
Adapt quickly with intelligent budget proposals
  • Cash Position : Cash position is the projection of cash flow that is forecast for the near term. It’s based on the projection of cash receipts from customers that pay outstanding invoices and orders, and also on the projection cash disbursements that are paid to vendors for purchase invoices and orders. More details can be found at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/finance/finance-insights/cash-position

a screenshot of a cell phone
  • Customer payment predictions : The Manage customer credit and collections workspace includes two new tiles: Transaction payment predictions and Customer payment predictions. On the Transaction payment predictions list page, you can view the probability of payment for open transactions in the On time, Late, and Very late buckets
Graphical indicators for payment predictions in the Related information pane.

The Customer payment predictions list page shows the total open balance, and the amount that is predicted to be paid in the On time, Late, and Very late buckets.

Payment predictions per customer page.

For more details visit:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/finance/finance-insights/payment-insights-overview

Webinar for the above financial insights from Microsoft can be viewed from the link:https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=2160818&clcid=0x409

You tube video having summary of these features is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAYBRdn2oHw

  • Expense receipt processing : Expense entry has been enhanced through the introduction of optical character recognition (OCR) processing for receipts. We need to install expense management service add in from LCS and then enable the below features
    • Expense reports re-imagined
    • Auto-match and create expense from receipt

This feature uses Azure cognitive services Form Recognizer to extract the field information from the the uploaded expense receipts

Sample receipt with extracted information from Form Recognizer’s new prebuilt receipt feature

More details can be found at below link https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/project-operations/prod-exp/expense-receipt-processing

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Supply Chain:

  • Demand Forecasting : Demand forecasting is used to predict independent demand from sales orders and dependent demand at any decoupling point for customer orders. To generate the baseline forecast, a summary of historical transactions is passed to Microsoft Azure Machine Learning hosted on Azure. Basic flow is as below. Wecan use Supply Chain Management to visualize the forecast, adjust the forecast, and view key performance indicators (KPIs) about forecast accuracy.
demand forecasting introduction diagram.

A great demo on this feature was given by Andrew Lencsak in DynamicsCon 2020. Below is the link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0I77Rj9nIA

Below links have more details:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/supply-chain/master-planning/introduction-demand-forecasting

https://msdynamicsworld.com/story/forecasting-microsoft-dynamics-365-finance-and-operations-azure-machine-learning

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Commerce:

Below is high level architecture of the service

Ratings and reviews in Dynamics 365 for Commerce.

  • Commerce analytics (Preview) : This feature is in preview and utilises all modern capabilities of data lake, azure synapse analytics and power BI semantic models to provide the rich analytics from commerce data ganarated from multiple sources. A live demo if this dashboard can be access from https://aka.ms/CommerceAnalyticsDemo

More details can be found at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/commerce/commerce-analytics

  • Microsoft clarity in Dynamics 365 commerce : Microsoft Clarity is a user behavior analytics tool that can help site owners understand user interactions with their e-commerce sites. Clarity’s analysis tools enable visibility using session recordings, heatmaps, and machine learning insights to review and study user interactions. Clarity can be integrated into Dynamics 365 commerce sites. More details can be found at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/commerce/set-up-clarity
Instant heatmaps

Visit https://clarity.microsoft.com/ to know more about this platform

  • Fraud Protection :Fraud Protection is a service that offers fraud protection solutions to help retailers prevent fraudulent activity and identify places where fraud might be unnoticed.  This has to be purchased in addition to Commerce license altough the integration capabilities exists out of the box . Visit https://dynamics.microsoft.com/en-us/ai/fraud-protection/ to know more about the offering.

The steps to integrate Fraud protection with D365 commerce are available at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/commerce/dev-itpro/dfp

  • Product recommendations : The product recommendations service utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI-ML) technologies in the following way:
    • Data in the format that the Recommendation service requires is extracted from the Commerce operational database and sent to Azure Data Lake Storage or Entity store.
    • The recommendations service uses the stored data to train recommendation models for the People also likeFrequently bought togetherNewBest selling, and Trending lists.
Recommendations on the Product details page.

This service is an add-on to Dynamics 365 Commerce.  Visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/commerce/product-recommendations

  • Personalised product recommendations : In Dynamics 365 Commerce, retailers can make personalized product recommendations (also known as personalization) available. In this way, personalized recommendations can be incorporated into the customer experience online and at the point of sale (POS). When the personalization functionality is turned on, the system can associate a user’s purchase and product information to generate individualized product recommendations.
Applying personalization.

More details can be found at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/commerce/personalized-recommendations

  • Shop similar looks recommendations : The “shop similar looks” recommendations feature in Dynamics 365 Commerce uses the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI-ML) to deliver recommendations for visually similar products to customers.

More details can be found at : https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/commerce/shop-similar-looks

Enable Shop Similar Looks Link check box and Shop similar looks button on a PDP in site builder.

  • Shop similar description recommendations : The functionality for “shop similar description” recommendations uses the product name and description of seed products to find and recommend similar products in a retailer’s product catalog. “Shop similar description” recommendations are available in both the point of sale (POS) and e-commerce experiences.

Enable shop similar description Link check box and Shop similar description button on a PDP in site builder.

More details can be found at : https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/commerce/shop-similar-description

  • Clienteling with customer insights : In Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce, retailers can use the client book functionality to help store associates form long-term relationships with key customers. By using the Dynamics 365 Customer Insights application, retailers can aggregate data from the various systems that customers use to interact with the retailer’s brand. They can then use this data to generate a single view of the customer and derive insights. The integration of Customer Insights with Commerce lets retailers select one or more measures that should be shown on the customer card in the client book. For example, retailers can use the data in Customer Insights to calculate the “churn probability” for a customer and define the “next best action.” If these values are defined as measures, they can be shown on the customer card and can provide crucial information to sales associates
Example of a client book.

For more details and steps to integrate Clinteling features with Customer insights visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/commerce/clienteling-overview

The below AI powered capabilities are available in Dynamics 365 ecosystem which can be added to your existing Dynamics 365 applications to enhance the experience:

  • Dynamics 365 Connected space ( In preview) : With Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces, your organization can harness observational data with ease, use AI-powered models to unlock insights about your environment, and respond in real-time to trends and patterns.

Visit https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/bdm/2021/11/02/gain-a-new-perspective-with-dynamics-365-connected-spaces/ for more details

Product user interface that shows drawing queue management skill.

Dynamics 365 customer insights : Bring together transactional, behavioral, and demographic data in real time to create a 360-degree view of your customers. . Optimize the customer journey with out-of-the-box and custom interactive reports.

Image for unify data for real-time insights

Understand customer behavior on your website and mobile app for cross-channel journey optimization

Image for Cross channel

Optimize the customer journey with out-of-the-box and custom interactive reports.

Image for Actionable


Predict customer needs by unlocking powerful insights using prebuilt AI models, or use custom models for deeper insights.

Image for AI powered

For mroe details visit https://dynamics.microsoft.com/en-us/ai/customer-insights/

  • Dynamics 365 Supply chain insights : This platform provides below capabilities
    • Improve decision making with a digital-supply-chain twin by performing what-if simulations, advanced analytics powered by AI, and enhancing multi-tier supplier visibility.
    • Seamlessly work with existing planning and execution systems. Invite suppliers and partners to securely receive and share data on one platform.
    • Improve collaboration with suppliers, partners, and team members to identify risks early and plan for supply and resource constraints.

For more details visit https://dynamics.microsoft.com/en-us/supply-chain-insights/

Proactively avoid disruptions
Get operational fast

It does not stops here, power platform provides rich capabilities to build our own AI and ML models and curate your own solutions for Dynamics 365 applications. For more details visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/ai-builder/model-types

Thanks for reading the blog.

Author: Rachit Garg

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Architect

One thought on “AI capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance, Supply Chain and Commerce”

  1. Great compilation Rachit! I believe there is something on Invoice reading similar to OCR which can be added to the list.

    Like

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